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Re: [Texmacs-dev] Some interesting contributions that volunteers might m

From: Joris van der Hoeven
Subject: Re: [Texmacs-dev] Some interesting contributions that volunteers might make
Date: Thu, 12 Aug 2004 11:28:17 +0200 (CEST)

On Wed, 11 Aug 2004, Nix N. Nix wrote:
> On Wed, 2004-08-11 at 02:30, Jan Ulrich Hasecke wrote:
> > Joris van der Hoeven wrote:
> > > 1) Developing an instant messenging plug-in for TeXmacs.
> > >    This could evoluate into a collaborative authoring tool.
> > >    This should be easy using the new concept of mutator tags.
> > >    See Help -> Interfacing -> Mutator tags for details.
> >
> > The only Open Source IM system, I know of, is jabber
> How about we go into a different direction.  We could contribute to,
> say, gaim, which implements all the popular IM protocols (like Yahoo,
> AOL, ICQ, Jabber, MSN), and add the capability of passing the contents
> of IMs to various plugins.  Then we could have a checkbox saying "View
> as TeXmacs", or we could even parse the message and look for
> <TeXmacs|> in the body of the message, and automatically turn on
> viewing via a TeXmacs plugin.

I think that adding TeXmacs as a plug-in to Gaim would be a good idea,
but it does not exactly serve the same purpose: we do not merely want
to view content with TeXmacs, but we want to dynamically change
the content and synchronize with one or several other people.
So we definitely need at least one plug-in for TeXmacs to take
care of that. The protocol is not that important: we might actually
support several protocols. When we have such a plug-in for TeXmacs,
then we can try to make TeXmacs a plug-in of Gaim.

> Now, I know that Jabber also implements all the IM protocols. However,
> it does so on the server side, and much less reliably (in my
> experience).  In either case, I believe it would be better to work with
> an existing IM client, rather than writing our own.

I have quickly taken a look at Jabber and it seems that there are
qute a lot of quite understandable libraries for using this protocol.
I think that someone who has a week of time to spend on this could
come up with something functional.

> That is, instead of an IM plugin for TeXmacs, we should make TeXmacs a
> plugin for an IM client.  It is difficult for an IM client to gain
> recognition and wide adoption, especially since those who would be
> using it probably already have an IM client.

I do not want to concurrence standard IM clients. I want to provide
TeXmacs users with an easy possibility to communicate TeXmacs content
in a live way. This would allow for instance to have a mathematical
discussion over the web. Moreover, I am convinced that this is
not very difficult to achieve: one week by a volunteer who knows
a bit about IM should suffice. Later on, I would like to let
the mechanism evolve towards a framework for collabrative authoring.

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